Port Vale's assistant manager, Rob Page, is looking forward to tonight’s pre-season finale against Premier League side West Bromwich Albion. However, he feels with only 4 days until the start of the season, that the team won’t be going out all guns blazing due to their desire to start against Walsall on Saturday.
Page said: “We’ve now got a game that we’re all looking forward to it. Things have gone well during pre-season and more importantly we’ve got everyone through it fit and raring to go in build up to Saturday’s game.
“To turn up on Friday for training and have a full squad to pick from is a manager’s dream. This means it’s a difficult stage for the lads, because they want to go out and impress but they also want to be fit for the game on Saturday.
“It’s important with less than a week before the first game, that all the players have had similar minutes throughout pre-season, so they have had equal opportunity and that’s what we’ll have in mind again tonight.
“You can do all the training in the world, but it’s playing games when you get your match fitness.”
Micky’s recently appointed right-hand man, feels that whatever the result tonight the team can get something out of it. Although he admits pre-season friendlies are very different to competitive matches. He believes making sure the team is ready for Saturday is most important.
He continued: “We’re playing Premier League opposition, so we’ll take the positives out of it whatever happens. We’re not worried about the result; it’s more about the performance.
“We want to make sure that we see things on the pitch that we’ve been working on in training.
“We’ve worked on aspects of their game that they need to improve on, so they can do well for the team and that’s the most important thing.
“In any pre-season, you can win all your games, but it counts for nothing if you lose your first competitive match, so we’re not obsessed with the results at this stage of the season.
“As a coach you have to bear in mind that what you get in a pre-season match can be completely different to what you get on a Saturday, so the performance tonight will probably be nothing like what we see during the Walsall game.”